A once-homeless man proved earlier this month that anything is possible with hard work after graduating from University of California, Merced at 52 years old.
Stephen Maxey proudly wore his UC Merced Bobcats basketball shirt after graduating with a 3.2 GPA. He called his graduation “very surprising and very satisfying,” especially because when he first enrolled in classes, he was homeless and battling addiction.
When Maxey first stepped onto the Merced College campus six years ago — after weeks of wandering the town — he had no idea what to expect.
“I wanted to take some classes just to get off the street. That’s the only reason I was going,” Maxey told InsideEdition.com.
He sat down with academic advisor Amir Falahi, who told him that one day, he would graduate from University of California, Merced, a brand new facility that was affiliated with Merced College.
“He said he was not too sure what he wanted to do,” Falahi told InsideEdition.com. “I assured him, ‘if you want it bad enough, you can do it.'”
Even though Maxey had no money for classes and the semester had already started, Falani knew he would qualify for financial aid and enrolled him in a class that same day.
“When I got there that morning, I was not a student,” Maxey said. Two days later, he would be taking his first exam.
He was given a study guide, which he brought back to the homeless shelter, where his friends jumped on the opportunity to help him out.
When he went back to take the exam the following Friday, Maxey said he remembered getting a B, though he had not taken classes since high school.
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